Tag / backyard chickens

Chickens Gardening Gardening with Chickens Plants

Luck of the Flock: Planting Clover for Chickens

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Discovering clover for the first time.

I absolutely love to see lawns filled with clover.  Did you know that not only does it help to support the lawn but their blooms are well loved by bees? It is not uncommon for me to see the plants’ blooms buzzing with my bees. It is also beneficial to the flock, easy to grow and requires no care. It’s one of the easiest way to start gardening for your chickens.

Chickens Gardening Gardening with Chickens Plants Seasonal Care

8 Top Vines to Grow on Your Chicken Coop

I love gardening with chickens. It has been something that I have enjoyed immensely over the years. One of the most beneficial ways to maximize your space in the garden is to think vertically by adding climbing vines. This gardening trick allows you to make the most of the garden space that you have available. The perfect often overlooked place to consider growing vines is on your chicken coop. Vines provide your chickens shade, a bit of protection for aerial predators and a tasty snack that can be foraged through the run. Today I’m sharing my top 8 perennial and annual vines that are chicken safe, hardy, and delicious for both you and your flock. 

Chickens Giveaways

6th Annual Hug a Chicken Day Celebration

Wow!  It is hard to believe that six years ago I started this event. It seems like yesterday that I was down in Manhattan with the folks from Country Living Magazine . They encouraged me to start a Facebook page for Tilly’s Nest and enter the realm of social media.  Soon after I started my account, I realized how many chicken lovers were out there. It wasn’t long until I decided to create an event celebrating how wonderful chickens can be on so many levels. There was already a world egg, day but what about those girls that laid them? Chicken hugs are the best. It seemed natural to encourage folks to take a day to honor and thank their flock by sharing a chicken hug with them.  Now in our 6th year, I hope to see over 1000 chicken hugs on the Hug a Chicken Day Facebook event page. You are all invited to join us from your very own backyard. Simply post a photo on the event page and enter all these amazing giveaways from the sponsors of this year’s event. With their generosity, you can enter to treat your flock and you too. It is through their generosity that we are able to make this event what it is!  So take a peek at all these amazing giveaways below and for goodness sakes, give your girls a hug from me!

Gardening Plants Projects

Adding Raised Garden Beds in the Fall

As most of you know, late this summer we moved across town. One of the most difficult things that I had to do was leave behind what we designed and grew from nothing 13 years ago. Over those years, I turned a vacant lot into a lush oasis, filled with perennial walking gardens, blue stone patios, a fabulous chicken garden, a honeybee apiary and a lovely area of raised garden beds. My heart still pines for those gardens, wondering how they are growing without my daily tending. Weirdly, I miss my plants. I had no idea they were such a part of me.  But with change, comes new opportunities and I got a head start on next year’s vegetable garden at the new place.

Chickens Giveaways

Chickens as Organic Garden Helpers

Have you thought about gardening with chickens but just don’t know where to start? Today, I’m sharing with you some terrific tips to get started and also a fun DIY gardening project to recycle your flock’s eggshells into seedling starters.

Original Melissa Caughey -oyster cracker in garden

Sometimes I compare my backyard to an oasis. My kids spend hours playing in the grass and the garden provides fresh vegetables for my family. It’s a place where I go to clear my head, a place where all my worries drift away. Because my family and I love my lawn and garden so much, I have given a lot of thought into keeping the backyard healthy. One of the best helpers I’ve found? My flock of backyard chickens – and, in turn, the feed they eat. I feed my chickens in the morning, let them free-range and forage throughout the day and then bring them into their coop at night. Not only does this keep the chickens happy, it also helps my plants keep growing! The chickens eat insects, aerate the lawn, love eating weeds and even produce fertilizer!

Ready to add chickens to your backyard? Here are four steps to get started!

Giveaways

Food is Love: Purina Giveaway

One of the ways that my family has traditionally shown and shared love is through food. This is especially true for my step-father. To him, food is love. For the past twenty-five years, he has nursed broken hearts with sundaes, healed sicknesses with soups, and celebrated special times with feasts. Love is always abundant when we’re gathered around the table. I believe the same goes for my chickens. Every time I feed the girls, I am showing them love. After all, they give the love back to me with the eggs they produce. Because food is such a strong statement of love in my family, I’ve given a lot of thought into which feed to give the girls. 

Giveaways

Giveaway: Chubby Mealworms

Original_Caughey-MelissaCaughey-chubby mealworms 2
The girls recognize the chubby mealworms. You can see them waiting at the run’s door for me!

If your flock is like mine they LOVE to gobble up dried mealworms.  Recently I learned about Chubby Mealworms. I hadn’t heard of them before so I was excited to learn about a new company. I think you can guess by their name what they sell…mealworms and other dried bugs, just up the chickens’ alley! They graciously sent me a bunch of samples for the girls to try. 

Chickens

9 Tips: Keeping Chickens with Kids

cKeller+Keller_kidsguidetokeepingchickens chickens kids

Keeping a flock of backyard chickens while raising children is, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful things that you can do as a family. Kids and chickens go hand in hand. From the fresh eggs to life’s lessons, I don’t think that you can chose a better pet. Did I mention that they also make you breakfast? Today, I thought I ‘d share some tips for those of you getting started with a family flock. Keeping chickens with kids is an amazing adventure.

Chickens Health Issues

The Hen’s Reproductive System and Issues

Tilly's Nest- eggs in basketwp

If you think about it, chickens lay hundreds of eggs during their lifetime. Many times their eggs arrive just on schedule just as predicted; gorgeous warm orbs of goodness. Hens are amazing! Although rare, sometimes reproductive system issues arise that leaves chicken keepers scratching their heads. The perfect place is to start is inside the chicken and what leads up to the laying of an egg.